MOL Announces Initiatives aiming for recovery of Environmental Damage from the Wakashio Incident, and to Contribute to the Mauritian Community
September 11, 2020
TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Junichiro Ikeda) today announced to provide long-term contributions to the environment and the society of Mauritius with the support and cooperation of experts and organizations with specialized knowledge of environmental restoration and protection, and working closely with the government of Japan. Thirteen MOL Group employees have been dispatched to the site, and MOL has procured and transported essential items for the collection and recovery of leaked oil as well as other relief supplies. The details of the projects are as follows.
1. Protecting and restoring the natural environment
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment has already dispatched experts to Mauritius to conduct mid and long-term environmental monitoring and consider measures to restore the environment. MOL will implement the following projects in cooperation with Japan's Ministry of the Environment
- (1) Mangrove protection/nurturing project
Plan to set up a Consortium with companies, and to cooperate with local NGOs.
- Advise & Cooperation:
Japan Society for Mangroves, University of Mauritius
- Planning activities:
Cleaning that does not damage the mangrove forest ecosystem
Conservation of biodiversity beneath Mangrove forests
Planting of Mangrove trees
- Advise & Cooperation:
- (2) Coral reef recovery project
Cooperate with Universities, Research Institutes, and Corporation, and plan to build up a joint project with local NGOs.
Innoqua Inc., University of Mauritius, Albion Fisheries Research Center, EcoMode Society
- Planning activities:
Immediate nurturing of coral reef using cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence (AI)
Support coral farming activities in underwater coral shelves
Use the latest technology to protect coral reefs from mud suspended in seawater
- (3) Protecting seabirds and conducting research on rare species of seabirds
Protection of seabirds and support research related to the protection of rare species
- (4) Establishment of the Mauritius Natural Environment Recovery Fund (tentative name)
- Founded with the objectives of carrying out items (1) - (3) above
- As the founder, MOL plans to contribute about a total of 800 million Japanese Yen over several years
- The fund is planned to be open to public including companies and individuals. (Nagashiki as the Owner of Wakashio has expressed intention to join the fund)
- Operational support: The Japan Research Institute, Limited
2. Financial contributions to local NGOs, the government of Mauritius, and funds from the international public organizations
MOL will make donations to several local NGOs (Note 1) and contribute to funds (Note 2) established by public agencies such as those related to the government of Mauritius and the United Nations (UN). It plans to contribute a total of about 100 million Japanese Yen.
NGOs such as the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Ecomode Society, Reef Conservation, which the MOL team dispatched to the site has contacted and has supported. MOL may develop long-term cooperative relationship with some of the NGOs involved in projects in (1) above.
The funds include those supporting Mauritius-based groups and support organizations (The Fishermen's Welfare Fund, Mauritius Oceanography Institute, etc.) related to the fisheries industry.
3. Personnel contribution
- (1) Continue to dispatch MOL employees to the site
Following the first and second groups (13 employees in total), which are now on site, MOL plans to dispatch a third group to replace the first group, which is scheduled to return to Japan in mid-September.
- (2) Establishment of the Mauritius Representative Office (already announced)
MOL will establish the office in October, with the objectives of mid- and long-term cooperation and support for local communities and other concerned authorities in Mauritius
- (3) Employee Training
To select several employees globally and conduct employee training in Mauritius every year to deepen the understanding of marine pollution prevention and nature environment conservation and contribute to local communities.
4. Contributions to the community and industries
- (1) Contribution to fisheries and marine product industries
- To make various plans to support the development of fisheries based on local needs.
- One of the plans is to donate a reefer container, which was a local inquiry to support the supply chain of refrigerated goods. (To be arrived at site on September 11)
- (2) Contribution to tourism industry
MOL plans a cruise trip by Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line Ltd.'s Nippon Maru from Japan to ports in Mauritius, tentatively scheduled for 2022.
MOL plans to contribute a total fund of about 1 billion Japanese Yen over several years to support measures 1 - 3 above. Detail of 4. Contributions to the community and industries will be considered.
MOL continually engages in efforts to resolve the situation in Mauritius and restore the environment in cooperation with authorities in Mauritius and Japan, other concerned parties around the world, and the shipowner.